Wyandot BHN has long held Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as a priority. However, for far too long, our commitment to DEI has not been documented in a formal, public manner. As we begin our 70th anniversary celebration and continue to put a greater emphasis on diversity and cultural competency, we are pleased to share our new DEI statement:
Wyandot Behavioral Health Network is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment that is reflective of the community we serve – where the values, perspectives and contributions of all people are recognized and supported. We believe every employee and representative of Wyandot BHN, from our Board of Directors to our front-line staff, has a role to play in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Understanding that fostering an inclusive environment is how WBHN will ultimately achieve its greatest success, our diverse workforce allows us to meet the mental wellbeing and housing needs of a diverse community and advance health equity throughout Wyandotte County.
This new DEI statement is part of a much larger initiative to create a safe, affirming space for our staff, clients and the larger community. In working toward that goal, we are also taking steps to diversify our Board, organizational leadership and staff.
In line with these changes, we recently made a small, yet significant change to our core values. For years, our core values have been Stewardship, Positivity, Innovation, Compassion and Excellence. We commonly refer to our core values as SPICE. After discussions with our Diversity Task Force, we have changed the “I” in SPICE – swapping out Innovation for Inclusion. Innovation is still a key part of who we are and is engrained in our other existing core values. We feel that it is important to identify Inclusion as a core value because it is the act of embracing, celebrating and respecting the experiences and perspectives of others – regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or other dimension of diversity.
Of course, we know that words alone are not enough to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are a part of our decision-making processes and our interactions with one another. I believe that our new DEI statement will serve as a solid framework for guiding the actions of our leadership, staff and supporters as we work to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who comes through our doors.